Australia was outplayed by a gallant Ireland in the Semi Finals of the IRB Under 21 World Championship, losing 26-13 (halftime 16-13) at Hughenden in Glasgow on Wednesday.
Ireland outscored Australia by three tries to one and will meet New Zealand in Sunday's Final, while the young Wallabies face South Africa in the play-off for third and fourth place.
Rain and a wet underfoot surface suited Ireland, but Australian coach Laurie Fisher was making no excuses."The best side won tonight," he said.
"Naturally we are disappointed, but we turned over too much ball and they made us pay for it.
"They were also more physical than us at the breakdown and there were times when we should have won the ball on the ground but weren't aggressive enough to defend it."
Ireland finally broke the southern hemisphere's grip on the tournament by reaching the Final. In the first two year's of the World Championship the Final has been contested by teams from south of the equator.Australia sadly, has lost both Finals, with South Africa and New Zealand winning the last two Finals respectively.
Ireland enjoyed the possession and territorial advantage throughout the game, but the outcome of the match was in the balance until ten minutes from the end, when Irish hooker Denis Fogarty crashed over for his team's third try.Until then, Ireland had literally set up camp inside the Australian 22-metre area, but if there was one positive to take out of the match for Australia, it was their defence.Gold jerseys repelled wave upon wave of Irish assaults on their line, which would have frustrated a worse side.
Ireland started brightly and put the first points on the board with a penalty from the boot of flyhalf Gareth Steenson.
On 27 minutes, Ireland centre Glen Telford completed a sweeping move to score the first try of the match in the left hand corner.
From the kick-off, Ireland Number 8 Jamie Heaslip barged through several tackles on a storming 50-metre run to set up a try for right wing Richard Lane.
Australia were stung into action and responded with a try from left wing Henari Veratau in the 33rd minute.The flyer was set up from a searching break by fullback Drew Mitchell, who slipped through the Irish defence from deep in his half before offloading an inch perfect pass.
With the conversion by Halangahu the scores were level, but Steenson added a second penalty before halftime to give his side the advantage.
The second half, however, belonged to Ireland, as Australia were starved of possession. Steenson added a third penalty, which was all Ireland had to show for such dominance after half an hour of the second half.But any thoughts of a break away try by Australia to win the game ended when Fogarty crashed over.
"It's disappointing, but now the guys have to show some ticker and pick themselves up for the match against South Africa," Fisher added.
"This tournament is not only about winning overall and the success of it can be measured in our overall performance, which is why the third/fourth place play-off is so vital."